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As you may know by now, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is trendy liquid to use in your wellness routine at the moment. From cutting down on cravings to clearing up your skin, it seems there’s nothing this stuff do. Though ACV has always been part of my diet (I like to add a couple of drops of it into my water), I’ve never actually used it for anything besides that, and I was really curiousto see how using apple cider vinegar as an oral rinse would affect my teeth.

According to Dr. Axe, the vinegaris supposedly an excellent way to naturally whiten your teeth.

So, I set out to try using ACV on my teeth for a full month, but full disclosure, I had tocut my experiment short at the three-week mark, as I feared my pearly whites were about to suffer some serious and possibly irreparable damage.

Here’s how it all went down.

Week One: Let’s Do This Sh*t

Imani Brammer

Let me give a quick disclaimer here: I hardly followed any real instructions while going about this experiment, so your experience may turn out to be different than mine (in fact, I hope it different for you).

Now, just to give you a point of reference, the above photo shows whatmy teeth looked like on day oneof this experiment.

I woke up that morning, brushed my teeth, and tilted my head back to take a straight-up swig of ACV this was my first mistake.

The apple cider vinegar the inside of my mouth what I have done was measure a tablespoon, and then swish it around my mouth.

But, it was too late at this point, so I swished the vinegar around in my mouth for 10 seconds, then spit it out.

Imani Brammer

When I looked at my teeth, . They looked disgusting.

Looking closely at the photo, I saw several little brown particles lodged betweeneach of my teeth. I began to feel nervous, so I rinsed my mouth out once more with water and took another look.

My teeth were tinted brown, and in my eyes, looked way worse than before.

In a bit of a panic, Igrabbed my toothbrush and Colgate, brushing profusely until my gums began to bleed.

Then I reached for some baking soda and sprinkled it onto my toothbrush, determined to get rid of this brown tint. I’ve always knownbaking soda has the ability to make your teeth glisten white, so naturally, I headed for it in my brief moment of panic.

Thankfully, it worked, and my teeth began to look a little whiter, though the brown particles in between each tooth remained.

This brought me to a sudden realization:

The brown particles in between each tooth are actually an indicationof me not flossing. I’m never able to see those particles when I look at myself in the mirror, but with an HD camera, it’s definitely evident and embarrassing.

Despitea pretty terrible first day, I was determined to keep the experiment going. I decided I’d buy some floss, measure the damn ACV, andkeep truckin’ along.

Week Two: A Tablespoon Is Still Torture

Imani Brammer

I have to admit, the entire first week was sort of torturous. Every time I brushed my teeth, I looked into the mirror only to find those ugly brown chompers staring back at me.

And, TBH, I actually still wasn’t measuring the ACV until this second week.

(Again, there is probably a better way to go about using ACV as an oral rinse, and this was just my personal experience as someone who prefers to wing it.)

However, even measuring the vinegar into a mere tablespoon hardly changed the icky results I saw. In the above pictures, the left photo shows me pre-ACV-rinse, and the right photo shows my teeth just after I rinsed.

I was genuinely starting to feel like I was causing some serious damage to my teeth.

Week Three: Seriously, What Gives?

Imani Brammer

I tried to justify in my mind that the first two weeks were only bad because, well, maybe my teeth were just going through some sort of adjustment period.

But I found myself in week three still grossed out by my brown-tinted teeth.

I freaked myself out enough to go ahead and Google what the hell was going on. Turns out, I was definitely doing all of this sh*t incorrectly.

ACV apparently has a pH level of 3.075, and taking a swig of the stuff is supposedly for tooth enamel, which begins to dissolve at a pH of 5.5.

Also, you know how I was rinsing my mouth out and brushing my teeth immediately afterrinsing with the vinegar? Yeah, I wasn’t supposed to do that.

Since tooth enamel is already damaged after coming in contact with apple cider vinegar, brushing your teeth after the fact can actually just make the situation worse. It’s supposedly better for you to wait about a half hour before brushing to avoidfurther damage tothe enamel.

For real, I was so over this experiment at this point, and I didn’t want to think about it anymore.

Later in the week, I made one last desperate attempt to test ACV as an oral rinse. I tried brushing my teeth with baking soda swishing the vinegar in my mouth, and instead of a tablespoon of ACV, I poured the liquid into the small cap of the Bragg brand bottle (I’m guessing itcouldn’t have been more than a teaspoon, if that),and I only held the liquid in my mouth for a few seconds.

While it wasn’t as sticky and uncomfortable as before, the feeling was still, overall, yucky AF.

I didn’t rinse or brush my teeth immediately afterward, and lo and behold, my teeth were still disgustingly brown.

And that was the official last straw for me. I know I set out tocommit to a whole month of ACV rinsing, but I just couldn’t do it. The appearance of my teeth was seriously starting to mess with my self-confidence, and I’d had it.

If there’s anything this experiment taught me, it’s that not everything on the internet will work for you.

Or, at least, it won’t work for you if you don’t follow directions.

I’ve read countless articles about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, including its supposed whitening effect, and yet my experience was kind of borderline traumatic.

But, as I’ve said, I definitely didn’t follow any specific set of guidelines or protocol with this experiment. I winged the f*ck out of the whole thing, and perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned there in and of itself.

So much for pearly whites, huh?

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